On Sunday morning we decided to kill no.2 the Ixworth cockerel. He hadn’t produced any fertile eggs, had started to annoy our little bantam cockerel and we wanted fresh chicken for dinner in the week.
He had a great life for a year and had no idea what happened so don’t feel sad for him. As he was a year old I decided to poach him so I didn’t bother with plucking, I just skinned him.
I use a poaching method taught to me by my PhD supervisor’s wife. It is foolproof and easy – if slightly counter-intuitive, but I have made it quite a few times and it always works.
Poached chicken: pan of water, chicken.
Bring a pan of water large enough to hold and submerge your chicken to the boil. Put in the chicken (a trick here is to put the chicken in a pan, cover with water, remove chicken and then bring it to the boil). Bring back to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Cover with a lid, turn off the heat and leave for 24 hours. When you come back the chicken will be perfectly poached and you can easily strip the meat from the bones. You will also be left with a light chicken stock you can use for soups.
We got a fair amount of meat from No.2 – actually we probably got enough for 6-8 greedy people.
I should have weighed the bird, but I didn’t.
Monday evening I went into the garden to see what there was for dinner – yeah yeah my life is so hard.
I settled on some kind of Thai-inspired noodle, chicken, veggie soup thing – this is the official name for this dish – please remember this.
I chopped up the onions, radishes and mint and topped and tailed the mangetout. The mange tout were blanched in some boiling water.
I put some chicken stock from the poached chicken in a pan and simmered some thin rice noodles and a bit of ginger in it. At the last moment I added in the spring onions and mint. The I added in some lemon juice and Thai fish sauce to taste. Lastly in went the blanched mangetout and some shredded chicken – dinner.
N.B. On Sunday I might have had a second little breakfast (after my first breakfast of rhubarb smoothie, toast and honey) consisting of a fried pekin duck egg, rasher of home-reared bacon, and the freshest possible fried heart and liver from No.2 pilled up on fresh leaves from the garden with brown sauce. I need all the energy I can get at the moment.